India celebrates Army Day on 15 January every year. It is a day when a grateful nation pauses to honour the memory of the brave officers and soldiers who have lost their lives defending our nation, from external and internal threats. Army Day is commemorated on this date, as Lt General Cariappa (later Field Marshal Cariappa) became the first Indian officer to take over as the Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army on 15 January 1949.
India celebrates its 70th Army Day on 15 January 2018. Parades will be held, medals for gallantry and distinguished service will be conferred and brave deeds committed in the service and defence of the nation, will be remembered on this day.
The Indian Army is a unique institution as it is the largest volunteer army in the World. A force dedicated to the cause of defending the nation, its motto is ‘Service before Self’.
The Indian Army has fought in several wars, defending India from external threats, such as the First Kashmir War (1947), the Sino-Indian War (1962), the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965, the 1967 Sino-Indian Conflict, the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971, the Siachen conflict (1984), and the Kargil war (1999). In recent times the Indian Army has carried out ‘Surgical Strikes’ against terrorist training camps in Pakistan.
The Indian Army has also provided medical assistance during the Korean War (1950–1953) and is the largest contributor of personnel to United Nations peacekeeping missions across the world. Some of the trouble-torn locations where the Indian Army has served under the UN Mandate are: Korea (1950–54), Indo-China (1954–70), the Middle East (1956–67), Congo (1960–64), Cambodia (1992-1993), Mozambique (1992–94), Somalia (1993–94), Rwanda (1994–96), Angola (1989-1999), Sierra Leone (1999-2001), and Ethiopia-Eritrea (2006–08). Some recent and ongoing missions include deployment in Lebanon, Sudan and South Sudan, Golan Heights and Ivory Coast.
While protecting the nation from external threats, the Army also plays a key role in countering insurgent movements within the nation. The Army is also called upon in times of national disasters and natural calamities to provide rescue and disaster mitigation services to affected people.
We at Niyogi Books are proud to have in our list the biographies of the two inspiring field marshals of the Indian army: Field Marshal K.M. Cariappa and Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw.
The biography of Field Marshal K.M. Cariappa [http://niyogibooksindia.com/portfolio-items/field-marshal-km-cariappa-books/] was written by his son, Air Marshal K.C. Cariappa. This book with 164 photographs is a moving tribute by his son.
Field Marshal Kodandera ‘Kipper’ Madappa Cariappa (28 January 1899–15 May 1993) joined the Indian Army as a Second Lieutenant shortly after the First World War and served in many appointments at various locations. During the turbulent time of Partition, General K.M. Cariappa managed the division of the then British Indian Army and its resources between India and Pakistan with calm efficiency. In 1949 General Cariappa became the first Indian to be appointed Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army. He took over from Lieutenant General Sir Roy Bucher, who was the last British officer to lead the Indian Army after India gained Independence. General Cariappa retired in January 1953 after a long and distinguished military career. The Indian government conferred the rank of Field Marshal on him in April 1986.
Known for his simple living and high thinking, one of the most striking moments of Field Marshal Cariappa’s life was when his son, who was then a Squadron Leader in the Indian Air Force was captured during the 1965 Indo-Pakistani War and taken prisoner of war (POW). The Pakistani President Ayub Khan, who had worked with General Cariappa before Partition, called him and suggested releasing his son. General Cariappa replied, ‘The POWs are all my sons, look after them well.’ Squadron Leader Cariappa was released later, along with the other POWs. He went on to become Air Marshal K.C. Cariappa, and also wrote his father’s biography. Field Marshal Cariappa continues to live on in the memory of Indians as an inspiring example of service before self.
The biography of Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw [http://niyogibooksindia.com/portfolio-items/field-marshal-sam-manekshaw-the-man-and-his-times-books/] by Brigadier (Retd) Behram Panthaki and Zenobia Panthaki has over 200 images and covers the historical and political background of this inspiring leader’s life and times.
Field Marshal Sam Hormusji Framji Jamshedji Manekshaw, MC (3 April 1914–27 June 2008), began his military career in the British Indian Army and rose to become the eighth Chief of the Army Staff in 1969. He headed the Indian Army during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971, which resulted in the liberation of Bangladesh. He was the first Indian Army officer to be promoted to the highest rank of Field Marshal on 03 January 1973. In recognition of his popularity amongst Gurkha soldiers, he was conferred the rank of honorary general of the Nepalese Army by the Government of Nepal in 1972.
After a career spanning almost forty years, during which he had served in five wars, Field Marshal Manekshaw retired on 15 January 1973. Post-retirement, he and his wife lived in Coonoor, in Tamil Nadu, where he passed away, aged 94, on 27 June 2008. Popularly called Sam Bahadur, Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw is considered one of the greatest Indian military commanders.
We at Niyogi Books are honoured to preserve the memory of these brave and charismatic leaders through our books, and we salute their memory and the indomitable spirit of the Indian Army on Army Day.